Public Agenda

A Few Bad Apples?

An Exploratory Look at What Typical Americans Think About Business Ethics Today


In focus groups conducted in collaboration with The Kettering Foundation, Public Agenda found that citizens define business ethics more broadly than executives do. When typical citizens talk about business ethics, they cite executives who enrich themselves while driving their companies into the ground. Protecting employees' jobs, they say, should be a top ethical priority. When executives talk about ethics, they are concerned about the damage recent scandals have done to business' reputation and the need to restore public trust.

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